When, Where And How To See The Northern Lights In Sweden

To see the Northern Lights in Sweden you have to go to the northern part of the country, Swedish Lapland.
The vast emptiness of northern Sweden provides the best conditions for watching one of the most amazing natural spectacles.

When, Where And How To See The Northern Lights In Sweden

The Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a natural phenomenon of lights dancing across the night’s sky between September and March. Colours range from greenish yellow to light blues and purples, and create formations that are ever-changing. The intensity and visibility of the Northern Lights are dependant on the location, light pollution and cloud coverage. 

The northern lights above Torneträsk lake in swedish lapland
The northern lights above the tree line close to Abisko national park in sweden

The best places in Sweden to see the Northern Lights

The far north of Sweden has many great places to watch the Northern Lights because there aren’t many cities polluting the area with light.

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2 Week Itinerary Northern Sweden Road Trip

Abisko National Park

Abisko national park is one of the most famous places in the world to watch the Northern Lights in Sweden.
Its remote location, mostly cloud free skies, and the fact that there is almost zero light pollution, create the perfect conditions to watch the Northern Lights.

Tip: find the best places to stay in Abisko national park on booking.com!

The northern lights above Torneträsk lake in Swedish Lapland.
The northern lights above lake torneträsk close to abisko national park in sweden

Aurora Lake Lapland

Hidden in a small town in the middle of Swedish Lapland is Aurora Lake Lapland, a family owned business focusing on authentic Swedish travel experiences.
When the sky is clear you can see the Northern Lights reflecting on the lake. 

Tip: either one of their 2 cabins offers a traditional Swedish sauna experience. You can stay warm while watching the Aurora dance across the lake.

Best time of year to see the Northern Lights in Sweden

The best time of the year to see the Northern Lights in Sweden is between September to March. It’s darker for longer periods of  time which means the chances of seeing the Aurora are much better. Because of that, December and January are the perfect months to see the Northern Lights in Sweden.

A couple watching the northern lights above torneträsk lake in sweden

Finding the Northern Lights - The best apps

It’s one thing to see the Northern Lights when they’re happening, but it’s another thing to know when and where that will be. Luckily there are great apps to help with that.

Aurora Alerts - Northern Lights forecast

This app is simply amazing! You get all the information you need, like up-to-date predictions, cloud cover forecast and even sunrise and sunset times.
You can also create lists of other locations than your current one, which comes in really handy if you’re planning a trip somewhere to see the Northern Lights.
In the free version of the app you get a 3-day forecast; if you get the paid version (2.79 USD) you can even unlock the 27-day forecast.

Available for iOS and Android

Interface of Aurora forecast app for android and iOS
Interface of northern lights forecast app for android and iOS

My Aurora Forecast

Another free app that does a great job helping you find the best nights and locations to see the Northern Lights. There are additional features available in the paid Pro version (2.79 USD).

Available for iOS and Android

Tips for photographing the Northern Lights

The good news is, you don’t necessarily need a fancy camera to photograph the Northern Lights!
Most smart phones have amazing features that do just fine, for example Night Mode (or a similar low light alternative) or manual settings in Pro Mode.

One thing you’ll definitely need to capture the best Northern Lights images is a tripod. Since the lighting during the Aurora is already low, and the lights are moving constantly, your camera has to be as still as possible to take images without noise.

Read also: to get the most out of your smart phone camera check out my detailed photography eBook!

Some general (phone) camera settings that will help you to take the best Northern Lights photos include setting your camera to manual. That way you can adjust every little bit like ISO (1600 is a good start for Northern Lights photography), aperture (f-2.8), and shutter speed (20 seconds).

Just look at the photos below, I took them in Abisko national park at the end of August with my phone (Huawei P30 Pro, Night Mode).

The northern lights above Torneträsk lake in Swedish Lapland.
The northern lights in sweden above torneträsk lake.

I hope you enjoyed my guide about where and how to see the Northern Lights in Sweden.
I would love to hear your feedback, comments or questions!
XO, Nadine

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when, where and how to see the northern lights in sweden
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